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Pinellas welcomes two new Walmarts
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New Walmart stores will open in Clearwater and Largo Wednesday, Jan. 15, with ribbon-cutting ceremonies planned for 7:30 a.m. Opening celebrations are scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 18, noon to 3 p.m.

The Clearwater Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2171 Gulf to Bay Boulevard will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Largo store at 2677 Roosevelt Blvd. (at the intersection with U.S. 19) also will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Both stores will offer pharmacy services.

“The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome another Walmart Neighborhood Market to our community. New construction and new employment opportunities are always greatly appreciated,” said Bob Clifford, president and CEO of the Clearwater Regional Chamber. “Having the worldwide leader in retail business expanding its presence in our community sends a clear signal that Clearwater is a great place to live, work and play.”

"We are pleased that Walmart has remained committed, both now and through the recession, to invest in our community,” said Largo Mayor Patricia Gerard. “We anticipate the new store will help grow and revitalize the Roosevelt and U.S. 19 corridor, and we look forward to its grand opening."

The new Clearwater Neighborhood Market is approximately one-quarter the size of a Walmart Supercenter. It offers a full grocery department, including organic and natural selections. The store features prepared food options, fresh-baked breads, self-serve deli, a bakery, rotisserie chicken, and beer and wine. The Clearwater store is tailored to the community, offering local favorites, including Mediterranean and kosher items.

The Largo store features general merchandise, including apparel, electronics, toys, sporting goods, and lawn and garden items. It also offers a full line of groceries, including organic and natural selections in addition to local favorites.

The grand-opening celebration at both stores will include presentations of $8,000 in grants from Walmart to local community groups, including Clothes to Kids, Eckerd Community Alternatives, Fraternal Order of Police - Pinellas Lodge 43, Frontier Elementary, Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce, Lighthouse of Pinellas, WorkNet Pinellas and the city of Largo Police Department.

Clearwater store

The Clearwater store employs up to 95 full- and part-time associates. Store manager Sarah Parker began her Walmart career in 2006 as a manager trainee.

“We’re excited about bringing value, convenience and new jobs to Clearwater and about becoming involved in this community,” said Parker. “We invite all our neighbors to stop by on grand-opening day, see the new store, and take advantage of vendor giveaways and promotions.”

On Saturday, Jan. 18, noon to 3 p.m., the Clearwater store will host a Big Family Welcome that will give customers a chance to meet Parker and enjoy family activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples while supplies last. Join the celebration from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, visit faceb­ook.c­om/wa­lmart­5670.

Largo store

The Largo store employs approximately 300 full- and part-time associates. Store manager Ron Freitas began his Walmart career in 1998 as an assistant manager at a store in Sarasota.

”We’re excited to bring this new store with good jobs, great prices and one-stop shopping convenience to Largo,” said Freitas. “We hope everyone will stop by on grand-opening day to see the new store and take advantage of vendor promotions and giveaways.”

The new Largo Walmart also plans to celebrate with a Big Family Welcome on Saturday, Jan. 18, noon to 3 p.m. Customers can meet Freitas and enjoy family activities the same as those planned in Clearwater. For more information, visit www.f­acebo­­m/wal­mart3­372.
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